Sometimes August has felt like a “dreaming month” for me as my schedule slows down and there is time to observe the surrounding beauty more closely. Space seems to open up for extended conversations with family, friends and neighbors. Evening walks offer the mingled, florid scents of dozens of blooms in every yard and even pups on the leash walk more modestly. I am hoping for such a month as this first day unfolds.
My favorite poet, Mary Oliver, has a poem with this languid, August feel. I share it here, with all of you, hoping that you will also have a moment for a contented sigh tucked into this day and the “dog days” of August yet to come:
While I Am Writing a Poem to Celebrate Summer, the Meadowlark Begins to Sing
Sixty-seven years, oh Lord, to look at the clouds, the trees in deep. moist summer,
daisies and morning glories opening every morning
their small, ecstatic faces – Or maybe I should just say
how I wish I had a voice like the meadow lark’s,
sweet, clear, and reliably slurring all day long from the fencepost, or the long grass
where it lives in a timy but adequate grass hut beside the mullein and the everlasting,
the faint-pink roses that have never been improved, but come to bud
then open like little soft sighs under the meadowlark’s whistle,
its breath-praise, its thrill-song, its anthem, its thanks, its alleluia.
Alleluia, oh Lord.
Yes, there is discord and division in the public arena. Yes, there is a choking cloud of smoke that hangs over thousands of acres of devastated land in California. Yes, children still cry themselves to sleep wondering when their parents will be allowed to place their arms around them again. Yes, we carry the grief of all this in our hearts. But, we dare not forget that God is at work, sowing seeds of reconciliation and renewal; bending low to carry the forsaken and bring home those lost to community. Therein, lies my song, my anthem, my desire to follow to the ends of the earth this “alleluia-bearing God” who sings on in the meadowlark’s trilling for all who rest by the road to hear.
Toward our wholeness and shalom peace as God’s children,